Disney VHS: The Fox and the Hound w/ Case Animated Classic!


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The Fox and the Hound (A Walt Disney Classic) [VHS]
Mickey Rooney (Actor), Kurt Russell (Actor), Art Stevens (Director), Richard Rich (Director) Rated: G (General Audience) Format: VHS Tape

The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated buddy drama film produced by Walt Disney Productions and loosely based on the novel of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix. The 24th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film tells the story of two unlikely friends, a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper, who struggle to preserve their friendship despite their emerging instincts and the surrounding social pressures demanding them to be adversaries. Directed by Ted Berman, Richard Rich, and Art Stevens, the film features the voices of Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Jack Albertson, Pearl Bailey, Pat Buttram, Sandy Duncan, Richard Bakalyan, Paul Winchell, Jeanette Nolan, John Fiedler, John McIntire, Keith Coogan, and Corey Feldman. Disney’s enchanting tale of an unlikely friendship between a fox cub and a hound pup, released for the first time ever on video.

Actors: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan
Directors: Art Stevens, Richard Rich, Ted Berman
Writers: Burny Mattinson, Daniel P. Mannix, David Michener, Earl Kress, Larry Clemmons
Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, HiFi Sound
Rated: G
Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Run Time: 83 minutes

On the tape:
The Lion King Preview

Disney studio’s 1981 production of THE FOX AND THE HOUND seems to have been made mostly by the newer generation of artists at the studio. The film’s look is similar to 1977’s THE RESCUERS. Dismissing the high strung and flamboyant personality traits possessed by the likes of Bernard and Miss Bianca from the previous film, THE FOX AND THE HOUND concentrates on the more homespun qualities that were created for the bayou characters. This folksy and laid-back approach bolstered by Pearl Bailey’s songs sung as Big Mama Owl and Buddy Baker’s unpretentious score at once sets THE FOX AND THE HOUND apart from previous Disney animated films. In fact this film has a very un-Disney look about it. The film leisurely unfolds a story about an orphaned fox named Tod adopted by Widow Tweed, a farming woman. Tod befriends a puppy named Copper owned by Widow Tweed’s neighbor, the hunter Amos Slade, and they become friends. The fox and the hound make a pact of lifelong friendship. Inevitably after Copper is trained to be a hunting dog and they both grow up the two must confront each other. One is the hunter and one is the hunted as is ordained by nature. The film does not create genuinely frightful images thanks in part to the loosely drawn animation and its good-natured tone, yet its message is perhaps stronger than any Disney animated film. Things are much simpler when you are young. Once you grow up things appear in a much different light depending to what degree you were taught. The film uses the allegory of the fox and the hound, natural enemies in real life, and their pact of friendship to demonstrate the adversities of life’s realities and the effects it has on each of us. This film seems deliberately aimed at very young viewers, yet its message spans the range of anyone old or young enough to comprehend it.

I’ll admit that this was never one of my favorite Disney films. It is not showy or flashy. Even the animation is very simplistic. After watching it again recently I now see that I missed the film’s payoff. As film viewers, the older we get the more sophisticated we become. Sophistication breeds complacency sometimes to the point where we miss the point!

What looks like a cute little movie with fury animals on the surface to an adult, may be an emotionally awakening experience for a little child, a glimpse of what lies ahead. I think the filmmakers gave our young ones more credit for deductive feeling and emotion than we did. As an adult I found watching the first two thirds of this film a rather laborious task. The final third is where it comes alive and also comes full circle. For a very young child however, the entire film is very entertaining. For the very young child the lesson learned is a bonus. The payoff for me is the final scene where Copper begins to fall off to sleep and we hear an echoing voice of his pact of lifelong friendship to Tod that was made when they were children. It was very reminiscent of the final scene in THE YEARLING and I felt a tear run down my cheek. Sometimes the only tangible thing we have left of a happier time is our ability to revisit that time in our dreams. This is an important film.


Case slightly squished and wear along top. VHS itself is near mint. Tape is completely rewinded for your convenience. Full screen.